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Spring in Korea Part 2 – Abalone Porridge and Manjanggul Cave

This is part of an ongoing travelogue. To start at the beginning, click here.

Today, we’ve hired a driver for an entire day trip around the island. I used the same contact from my previous trip, and we got the same driver friend, Mr Kim who could speak English. Well, his English isn’t all that great, but at least we can understand each other.

The first order of the day, was to eat breakfast. We wanted to try jeonbok-juk (abalone porridge), a famous dish here in Jeju. The most popular restaurant, Myeongjin, is just outside the city, but today being Tuesday, it isn’t open. So our driver brought us to this other place near our hotel. The restaurant is near the sea, so it was extremely windy.

This place obviously is run by a Chinese family. There’s our hired car on the right.

Abalone porridge is very aromatic, made with fresh abalone and comes with the usual side dishes like kimchi and vegetables.

After a good breakfast, time to explore the island. The previous trip, we covered a lot of the most popular tourist destinations, so this trip we went for those that we did not have time for. First stop is to the east, to Manjanggul Caves.

 

This is a UNESCO World Heritage site, the finest lava tunnel in the world. About 1km of the 13km is open to public. The grounds of the park is quite beautiful, with spring flowers blooming.

 

The good thing with this driver, is that he can sometimes get cheaper tickets for us.

Manjanggul involves a lot of walking, and often on uneven and wet surfaces, in cold and dark conditions. Walking in takes about 40 minutes for a healthy person (and another 4o minutes getting out). I would suggest good rubber shoes, and to skip this place for the elderly.

in some areas, the tube opens up into a large cavern, which is quite spectacular.

in some areas, the tube floor is too uneven, there are walking platforms provided.

At the end of the tunnel that is open to the public, there is a lava column, the largest in the world. It was formed when lava dripped down from a higher tube on this floor.

Kind of hard to take good pics in the dark, but this is an impressive place to visit.

 

Next – Mazes.

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